Chickweed, Stellaria Media
Chickweed has been around humans for a long time. The ancient Greeks & Romans cultivated & used it for health & nutrition.
The Grauballe & Tollund Bog Bodies (look them up, these are some incredibly preserved bodies dug out of an old peat bog in Denmark in the 1950's which date back to the 3rd Century BC), have had their stomachs examined, & chickweed seeds were found in them. This indicates that chickweed was consumed on a regular basis.
The Ainu tribe indigenous to the Hokkaido region of Japan has a creation myth which refers to the first human body's. The body's were made out of dirt, with willow sticks for spines, and get this, Chickweed for hair!! Just picturing this makes me giggle a little bit. Chickweed was so well regarded in ancient Japan that it was and still is eaten in a symbolic seven-herb rice porridge to promote longevity & good health.
Chickweed was often used as a famine food in Europe, sustaining many people during times of famine & war. Lucky for them it is so highly nutritious & abundant.
I feel like plants don't make it into the history books unless they are well known & frequently used. Many of what we deem to be 'weeds' today were in fact highly valued and cultivated in ancient times. Unfortunately they fell out of favor when cultivated varieties became popular. To be quoted in creation myths, tells me that Chickweed is indeed very special.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) contains Vitamins: B Complex, C and D & it's rich in minerals iron, copper, calcium, sodium and some manganese, phosphorus and zinc. For me it's a daily multi vitamin straight from the garden, free, with no processing or multinational pharmaceutical companies involved.
There are so many ways to incorporate Chickweed into your diet. It appears in all of my salads, just chop it up so the stringy bits don't get stuck in your mouth. It makes the most creamy delicious pesto (it's full of natural saponins which make it super creamy). It can be added to other sauteed greens or soups & stews. It turns a salad dressing into the brightest green you've ever seen which snazzes up even the dullest salad and looks amazing. I also infuse Chickweed in Raw Apple cider vinegar which I then use in dressings, getting extra vitamins in my salad this way.
Chickweed has lovely skin healing properties. It's especially good for dry, itchy, inflamed skin which is why I use it in my Eczema soothing balm, and also my Kawakawa & Chickweed balm (a good heal all type of balm).
Chickweed Pesto recipe:
Grab a big handful of Chickweed (use scissors to cut or you'll rip out the roots, you can snip quite low and it will regrow).
Add a handful of nuts of choice (I love cashews), a drizzle of olive oil, some crushed garlic, salt & pepper.
Put in a blender and whizz on high speed until well blended. If needed add a drizzle of water.
As you can see, I'm not really the 'measure it by the tsp' type of person, and making pesto this way has never failed me, just use your tastebuds and taste often throughout the process.